Welcome.

This afternoon, as we drove past our local UU church, The Who noticed the rainbow flag that it flies out on its lawn to indicate that it is a “Welcoming Congregation” (i.e. a congregation that “want[s] to take intentional steps to become more welcoming and inclusive of people with marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities.”) He asked me why the flag was there.

“It’s a rainbow flag that shows that they are a place that welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.” I started with this and waited to see what he would do with it. As far as I know, he doesn’t really have much of a context for any of those terms, although he does know that families are made up of all different gender configurations.

He was quiet for a few seconds and then he asked, “But why would they even need to do that?”

I nearly cried. He doesn’t understand why anyone would have to go out of his or her way to make sure that people knew that a place specifically welcomed a group of people. He doesn’t even know that his parents are part of this group of people. He doesn’t know that there are politicians and neighbors and teachers and friends’ parents who think that his parents are deviants, unworthy of equal treatment and access to spaces.

“Well,” I began, not sure of how the rest of the sentence was going to form. “Some people don’t want to share their space with gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, or queer people.”

Immediately and confoundedly: “Why?”

“I’m honestly not sure, babe. People can make guesses about why, but I don’t really actually know. Mommy and I are lesbians and queer and we are happy to share our space with any kind of people. And we’re not completely sure why some people don’t want to.” (I didn’t want to start with my interpretations of how these seeds are planted and I don’t think he could digest it all anyway.)

More silence. Then: “Yeah! Me too! I will share my space with anyone! You and Mommy and Bella (his stuffed dog)! I like every kind of people.”

He is in for a rude awakening and it hurts my heart.

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I’m trying hard to make this day the kind of day I need and want, but I am being thwarted at every turn.

Thursdays are my “off” days, which means only that I don’t have to be in a classroom, teaching. Thursday is the day I use to catch up on all of my grading, student emails (though I also handle those as they come in all week), and other administrative stuff. Often on Thursdays (especially these days, as I am trying to catch up financially from a summer of basically no work) I will drop The Who off at school and come right back home, planting myself on the couch for a solid chunk of work.

I cherish Thursdays. I don’t have to talk to a single soul from drop-off to pick-up if I don’t want to (and I am finding that as I get older, the less I want to interact.) I love the feeling of not being needed. I love that no one talks to me, no one asks me to play, no one’s potentially waking from a deep sleep and crying, and there are seemingly endless hours back to back during which to work, nap, stare into space. Aah. Thursdays.

Today is no such Thursday.

It started with a doctor’s appointment that I had to make because this strange muscular (?) hip pain that has been gradually getting worse over the course of a few weeks reached an un-ignorable level on Tuesday when I climbed the flight of stairs and walked the five long hallways to my morning class. I mostly want confirmation that I don’t have an enormous tumor wrapping itself insidiously around my inner workings, but also, I wouldn’t mind some pain relief beyond the stomach-eating ibuprofen I’ve been downing. So. The appointment: 11:15am, which is not a horrible time to have an appointment on a crisp, sunny fall day such as this. That gives me two solid hours after drop-off to bang out some work, a casual drive out to the office, and then a solid chunk of time after to finish up.

(It’s worth a mention here that m* is home from work today and although we can easily exist in the house together happily, the vibe is not the same. It’s just not Thursday. So, I was already planning to do my work at cafes, which is why I had thought ahead and packed my laptop up with me. Smart girl, right? Sorta. Read on.)

It was 48 degrees this morning. I am still wearing capris and sandals because, well, because it’s not goddamn winter yet and I refuse. So, as soon as my temp gauge hit its sweet spot, I pumped the heat and as soon as I did that, the heat gauge slid all the way up to “H” (a setting it has never hit in all of its 6 years — not even when the radiator crapped out last winter.) So, drop-off-and-then-work turned into drop-off-and-then-repair-shop-where-there-is-no internet. (Also, remember the whole playing catch up from not working all summer? Yeah. The car repair shop is not so much the place to do that.) (They did, however, send me away within an hour with a directive to come back in a month and see if I need to spend $1300 or not.) (Awesome.)

So, with my morning work shot, I headed to the doctor where I found out that they didn’t actually schedule my appointment and not only did I not have an appointment now, the doctor was running behind (which she has never not been doing in the 9 years I’ve been seeing her.) They slid me into a 1:15 appointment with the promise of a phone call if she was running late so I wouldn’t have to stop my work prematurely.

Oh, right. Work. Here I am at Cosi, all set up to do my work. Finally, at 12:15. Except when I went to plug in my laptop, I realized that in my haste to leave on time this morning, I forgot my power cord and am using my last 22 minutes of battery power to write this post. Plus, the promised Cosi wi-fi is MIA, so I am patched into some jacked up Home Depot public slow-fi, which is not helping me make the most of my now, 21 minutes of battery.

So, let’s recap: no work done this morning. Possible jillion-dollar car repair. Doctor’s scheduling mishap. No power cord. Shitty wi-fi. No work this afternoon. So far, it’s a banner day. At least the sun’s shining.